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Weed recognition using deep learning techniques on class-imbalanced imagery

Hasan, A.S.M.M., Sohel, F., Diepeveen, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-1535-8019, Laga, H.ORCID: 0000-0002-4758-7510 and Jones, M.G.K.ORCID: 0000-0001-5002-0227 (2022) Weed recognition using deep learning techniques on class-imbalanced imagery. Crop and Pasture Science . Online Early.

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Abstract

Context: Most weed species can adversely impact agricultural productivity by competing for nutrients required by high-value crops. Manual weeding is not practical for large cropping areas. Many studies have been undertaken to develop automatic weed management systems for agricultural crops. In this process, one of the major tasks is to recognise the weeds from images. However, weed recognition is a challenging task. It is because weed and crop plants can be similar in colour, texture and shape which can be exacerbated further by the imaging conditions, geographic or weather conditions when the images are recorded. Advanced machine learning techniques can be used to recognise weeds from imagery.

Aims: In this paper, we have investigated five state-of-the-art deep neural networks, namely VGG16, ResNet-50, Inception-V3, Inception-ResNet-v2 and MobileNetV2, and evaluated their performance for weed recognition.

Methods: We have used several experimental settings and multiple dataset combinations. In particular, we constructed a large weed-crop dataset by combining several smaller datasets, mitigating class imbalance by data augmentation, and using this dataset in benchmarking the deep neural networks. We investigated the use of transfer learning techniques by preserving the pre-trained weights for extracting the features and fine-tuning them using the images of crop and weed datasets.

Key results: We found that VGG16 performed better than others on small-scale datasets, while ResNet-50 performed better than other deep networks on the large combined dataset.

Conclusions: This research shows that data augmentation and fine tuning techniques improve the performance of deep learning models for classifying crop and weed images.

Implications: This research evaluates the performance of several deep learning models and offers directions for using the most appropriate models as well as highlights the need for a large scale benchmark weed dataset.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): IT, Media and Communications
Centre for Biosecurity and One Health
Centre for Crop and Food Innovation
Centre for Sustainable Farming Systems
Food Futures Institute
Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)).
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/64686
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